New Man In Charge
Newly elected 18-year-old mayor presides over his first town council meeting.
There's a new man at the top of city government in the small town of Aredale, Iowa.
Jeremy Minnier presided over his first city council meeting Monday after receiving write-in votes to become the town's new mayor.
Minnier is also a senior in high school but has already earned a lot of respect.
Minnier says he just wants to serve the town he loves.
"I expect people to come to me for comments, suggestions, or concerns they have around town or anything like that and I expect people to look up to me to get those things done or see that they get done," said Minnier.
Deb DeBerg has lived in Aredale for the last 12 years but has never come to a council meeting until Monday night.
That's after she and the town's 70-some other residents received a letter from Minnier asking them to be there.
"I got an invitation from our new young mayor to attend the first council meeting. I never got any communication from city government before so I was compelled to come and see what he's got up his sleeve for us," said DeBerg.
So far, Minnier wants to improve the city's water and sewer system and keep young people from moving away.
At his first council meeting, he became the person to decide when it's time to plow the city's roads.
City council members like Rita Olesen say despite Minnier's youth, he's already respected.
"I've all the respect in the world for Jeremy. He's proven himself over and over again. The stuff he's done around town with the plantings, mowing lawns, shoveling, cleaning out gutters, helping the people who need help," said Olesen.
"The people here, they've known me my whole life. Some were my babysitter when I was younger so they've known me my whole life. Respect isn't gained overnight. It's something you get over a long period of time," said Minnier.
Minnier says his new job has also gained him a new nickname at school - the mayor, of course.
Being mayor runs in Minnier's family.
His father was mayor of Aredale before Jeremy was born, while his brother-in-law is the new mayor of nearby Hampton.